Nigeria's Frontline ISP




Q: What is BroadbandDirect?

A:BroadbandDirect is a two-way Internet-over satellite solution that delivers fast, reliable and cost-effective broadband Internet into offices, homes and remote locations.  Using the VSAT technology, it supports web-browsing, e-mail, file transfer, international VoIP and fax services.

Q: What is a VSAT?
A: A very small aperture terminal (VSAT) is a device – also known as an earth station - that is used to receive satellite transmissions. The "very small" component of the VSAT acronym refers to the size of the VSAT dish antenna that is mounted on a roof on a wall, or placed on the ground. The key advantage of a VSAT earth station, versus a typical terrestrial network connection, is that VSATs are not limited by the reach of buried cable. A VSAT earth station can be placed anywhere - as long as it has an unobstructed view of the satellite. VSATs are capable of sending and receiving all sorts of video, data and audio content at the same high speed regardless of their distance from terrestrial switching offices and infrastructure.

Q: What makes BroadbandDirect Different from similar ones in the market?
A: BroadbandDirect has several performance and cost advantages over competing products in the market. Unlike these other ones, it comes with high-end stand-alone indoor electronics (not PC Cards) and 1.8m antenna (not 1m or 1.2m). These features make it possible to upgrade the product to a higher-end VSAT solution without having to replace the whole installation. Also, monthly bandwidth cost is within the affordable range (as low as N30,000) and fixed regardless of level of use. It is not based on amount of data transferred or “per MB billing”, which is usually unpredictable.

Q: What volume of Bandwidth is available on BroadbandDirect?

A: Available bandwidth is in excess of 10Mbps.  However there are four bandwidth options for BroadbandDirect popular users. These are:

  •             Option A (upto 64Kbps)

  •             Option B (upto 96Kbps)

  •             Option C (upto 128Kbps)

  •             Option D (upto 256Kbps)

Q: What is the specification of BroadbandDirect’s equipment?

A: BroadbandDirect is based on open-standard DVB infrastructure, combined with the rugged and industry benchmarked Hughes ISBN-hub platform. Apart from the 1.8m dish, the customer equipment consists of DVB receiver, satellite modem and a RF unit. The product is powered by world technology leaders, which include Panamsat, Emperion and Hughes

Q: What is the difference between VSATs used for data communications and those used for television reception?
A: The terminals used for TV reception are receive only terminals while the ones for two way data communication are Receive and Transmit Terminals (Rx/Tx). The TV terminals require no special license, while for the Rx/Tx terminals the user is required to be licenced by the regulatory body in their country, in Uganda, Uganda Communications Commission, in Kenya, Telekom Kenya and in Tanzania, Tanzania Communications Commission.

Q: What are the advantages of VSAT links over other types of data links?


  • Immune to distances between sites to be connected
  • Immune to topological obstacles (such as tall buildings, hills and mountains)
  • Very fast set up time. A link between two sites on different continents can be established in a matter of weeks.
  • Very high reliability (Typical annual availability = 99.95)
  • Very reliable technology.
  • Create very secure links – almost immune to unauthorised access and tampering.

Q: What are the limitations of VSAT Links?


  • Radicated satellite capacity is substantially expensive
  • The turn round time is long due to the long distance between satellites and earth locations and this can affect the operations of some programs.
  • Some VSAT equipment is relatively expensive.
  • Some types of VSAT links are affected by heavy rain, and may result in a weaker signal reception between the ground stations.

Q:What does an organisation need to have in place to deploy VSAT technology?


  • Economically viable need for information exchange
  • Software and networks which are optimised for satellite operation
  • Reliable power source
  • Perform a site survey to establish suitable location for VSAT terminals.
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